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    300 words: Describe Piaget's formal operations and how one achieves it.

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    Jean Piaget's Four Stages of Cognitive Development include the Sensory Motor engagement, Pre-operational period, Concrete Operational time, and finally the Formal Operations Stage. The University of Georgia's Department of Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology says, "Piaget believed all children pass through these phases to advance to the next level of cognitive development. In each stage, children demonstrate new intellectual abilities and increasingly complex understanding of the world. Stages cannot be "skipped"; intellectual development always follows this sequence. The ages at which children progress through the stages are averages--they vary with the environment and background of individual children. At any given time a child may exhibit behaviors characteristic of more than one stage."

    > http://epltt.coe.uga.edu/index.php?title=Piaget%27s_Stages

    Therefore, to answer the question in terms of, "how one achieves Piaget's formal operations" is that achievement occurs naturally in time throughout ages of one's life. Thus, although actual age of development varies amongst individuals due to a wide range of factors (e.g. environment, hereditary, genetic influence, and so on), the following are examples throughout periods of achievement:

    1) Sensory Motor Stage: (Birth - 2yrs) - From the moment we are born throughout late infancy, "senses" begin to merge with our "motor" functions. All motion operates through the motor cortex in the brain, which controls movement. So, in other words, we need to sense or learn how to move the muscles, fingers, toes, and limbs of our new body machine. It's as if we just got a new vehicle, computer, or machine and are learning how to operate the numerous functions in order to operate effectively.

    2) Pre-operational Stage: (2yrs-7yrs) Toddlerhood throughout Childhood - As in the previous stage, consider the term, pre-op; it occurs before total operation occurs. Here is also the period of what some term, "terrible twos" as children are eager to probe, run, and engage most every facet of life. According to Flinders, "During this stage, children's thought processes are developing, although they are still considered to be far from 'logical thought', in the adult sense of the word. The vocabulary of a child is also expanded and developed during this stage, as they change from babies and toddlers into 'little people'..."
    > http://ehlt.flinders.edu.au/education/DLiT/2000/Piaget/stages.htm

    3) Concrete Operational Stage: (7yrs-11yrs) Adolescence thru Pre-teen - This term may be thought of as the tangibly molded, solid, or real and improved operational stage. At this point of development, we've been practicing operation of our motors for roughly a decade, and have mastered motion along with more information, which includes organized thought forms, and higher levels of intelligence. Plus, in this stage, our left-brain logic orientation dominates the right-brain intuitive nature. BSU.edu says, "During this stage children are able to reason logically as long as the reasoning can be applied to concrete and specific examples."
    > http://klhemmelgar2.iweb.bsu.edu/edpsych251/251/styled-6/index.html

    4) Formal Operations Stage: (11yrs-Teen+) teenage to adulthood - Pertaining to the word, 'form' or formed, our operation is clearly molded or defined. We can now form information beyond abstract reason; move our bodies with more control; and think or learn multiple things and variations with greater evolution. BSU says, "Students are still able to think logically, but now they no longer need to have a concrete or specific example to use that logic...[we] now can use abstract logic to make up possible scenarios to decide on how to accomplish something or how different choices might play out...[and] are able to think about the way things should be or what the best qualities are to have as a person."
    > http://nlyingst.iweb.bsu.edu/edpsy251/courseconcepts/251/piaget.html

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